'NBRA Bill will silence voices of public resentment'

 “The Union Ministry of Science and Technology is gearing up to table the National Biotechnology Regulatory Authority (NBRA) Bill in the Parliament. The Ministry, which is promoting genetically modified (GM) crops, is unmindful of its health and environmental hazards revealed by a series of studies done by scientists across the world,” said Bharatiya Krishik Samaj President Dr Krishna Bir Chaudhary.

Addressing media persons here on Monday, Chaudary said that the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) had not done proper homework before giving its nod for the clearance of Bt Brinjal. “Several lacunae were pointed out by eminent molecular biologist Dr Pushpa M Bhargava, who was a special invitee as per the Supreme Court directive, at the GEAC meetings. But the GEAC, which is dominated by persons having vested interests, ignored Bhargava’s suggestions and pushed for the release of Bt brinjal,” Chaudhary alleged.

Through the proposed NBRA Bill, the voices of the public resentment will be silenced as it makes criticism of modern biotechnology an offence. Such law would not be keeping with the traditions of a vibrant democracy, he said. “Hazardous GM food should not be imposed on unwilling people through draconian laws. In a democracy, people should have the right to choose what they should eat,” he added.

Reduces immunity

It has been scientifically proved that the consumption of GM food may reduce immunity system in human body. Further, it also would affect the digestive, metabolic functions and may cause carcinoma, Chaudhary explained. “Genetic engineering is not the way to find solutions to the problems in agriculture sector. It is unfortunate that Indian government is promoting Bt brinjal even though the nation do not face shortage of it,” he said and demanded that the states should ensure protection of seed rights of the farmers.  

Now the people have come to know that there are two classes of agriculture scientists in India. While one class work for seed multinationals, another class pursue science in public interest, he said.

The objective of the seed multinationals is very clear that they want to control the entire food chain, he added.  Nagarika Seva Trust President Somanath Nayak was present.

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